When I was in college I decided to take a wheel throwing pottery class. It was something I always wanted to try and it fit in with my schedule as an elective. Though I was never great at it, I did enjoy it and getting a wheel one of these days is on my wish list; though it is murder on fingernails. Taking that throwing class for the quarter I did at Ohio State brought so much perspective on a Bible principle.
Isaiah 29:16 You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me”? Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”?
Isaiah 64:8 Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Romans 9:21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
I could preach on all of the processes of throwing and firing a pot and relate it easily to how our walk with God is reflective. Instead of diving into all of the points in detail I’ll be brief.
- Every kind of clay is different to throw. Some clay can have a lot of grog or small pieces of sand and it’s easier to throw because it withstands the process better. It’s stronger and sturdier. Grog is like grit in life. When you don’t have the grit, maturity and passion; it’s harder to stand through the process. I’ve thrown with beginner’s clay with lots of grog, and I’ve thrown with porcelain with virtually none. There is a difference. Faith, maturity, perseverance, persistence will make you stand in adversity. How’s your grog meter?
- Before you even start to throw a piece of clay you have to beat it, cut it to pieces, and smack it around a bit. This process is called wedging. Air bubbles form in clay and if you don’t do all of that to get the air out a lot of things can happen. When the clay is being thrown an air bubble can make it get completely off center. Also if there is a bubble left unfound it can make it explode in the kiln. Air bubbles are pride. If God doesn’t work with you to get the pride out, at any time during the process it can cause big issues later. God puts a lot of time into us his artwork. He needs you to learn lessons and humility early because later if you don’t you could “explode” all over the place in a prideful puff ball and he has to start all over with you.
- Once the clay is on the wheel it has to be pressed in and down to be centered. If at any time in this process the piece becomes uncentered it will get all messed up and not work. Centering is your vision or your focus. If at any time in the process of life you lose your focus you could get all messed up. You’re focus has to be on God. Now it is possible to recenter a piece on the wheel but it’s harder, it takes more tact. What typically happens is you have to take the piece off, smash it up, let it dry out for a bit and begin again. It can get frustrating as the potter, especially when you see the potential of the piece of clay in your mind.
- Once that clay is on the wheel that clay doesn’t get to start an argument with the potter. The potter feels it, and knows what shape it’ll take. The potter can see it in their mind. The clay has to yield. There have been so many times in my walk with the Lord that I’ve fought Him. I’ve wanted to argue. So many times where I’ve had to take a step back and say “Not my will but you’re will Lord.” You have to do this in your walk with God. You have to realize He sees the future from the beginning. He knows what is best for you and you have to learn to trust Him.
- The kiln gets crazy hot. It can get difficult and ‘hot’ in the firing process. Do you know that sometimes pieces get stuck to the shelves of a kiln because the piece has been over glazed and the glaze bonds to the shelves? Sometimes this means the piece gets broken because it refuses to let go of the kiln. You have to learn to go with God through the process He takes you too, even if it means leaving places you are not sure you want to leave. You can’t stay in a kiln forever. God will take you out so that you can be used for His purpose.
I could go on and on preaching on this, but I hope you get my point. God is the potter. We are the clay. He knows what He is doing with our lumps and bumps. We just need to trust Him through the process. We need to stop fighting Him, and allow ourselves to be fashioned as a vessel of His honor.
Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!